Our Projects

Getting to work

At Activate Detroit, we put every aspect of our experience into action for our clients. As a strategic partner, we develop a deep understanding of what will work for each client and the community. We’re flexible and creative in delivering innovative, customized solutions that unlock Detroit for our clients — and benefit the communities where they do business. Here are just some of the projects we’ve helped clients bring to fruition.

airbnb

AirBnb

Date: 2016 - 2017

When Airbnb announced that Detroit would be one of the 12 cities to host the launch of its new “Experiences” service, the company partnered with Activate Detroit to familiarize the community with the project and help Airbnb get to know the community. We administered Airbnb’s process for signing up hosts, facilitated introductions, and conducted day-to-day communications to establish connections. We also scouted for prospective “Experiences” hosts and helped develop and deploy a promotional film that included Mayor Mike Duggan. All of these bridge-building efforts helped grow the Detroit “Experiences” portfolio, and fostered a healthy relationship between Airbnb and the city of Detroit.

Services Provided

  • Community Engagement

  • Governmental Relations and Access

Amazon

Amazon

Date: 2020

When Amazon wanted to build a distribution center in Detroit, Activate Detroit mobilized community groups to foster buy-in for the project and secured support from Detroit City Council. The new facility Is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the surrounding area, as well as funding for neighborhood development. This $400 million project is a win for both Detroit and Amazon.

Services Provided

  • Community Engagement

  • Governmental Relations and Access

Detroit-Votes

Center For Secure and Modern Elections // Detroit Votes

Date: 2020 - Present

Detroit Votes is an integrated media and organizing campaign designed to increase voter turnout and voter registration in one of the country’s most critical electoral battlegrounds. Activate Detroit worked with the Center for Secure and Modern Elections to develop Detroit Votes in a city where Election Day can often pose challenges for voters.

Services Provided

  • Community Engagement

  • Governmental Relations and Access

Founders

Founders Brewing Co

Date: 2019 - 2021

When Founders Brewing Co. wanted to transition its company culture, it reached out to Activate Detroit. Buzz Thomas became its interim Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion lead, helping develop a three-year plan to foster change in the company. This included the creation of a Diversity Action Council and an annual employee satisfaction survey.

Services Provided

  • Community Engagement 

  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Value Propositions

boji

O’HAIR PARK NEIGHBORHOOD DEVELOPMENT

Date: 2019 - Present

After the Boji Group identified an area of the city that would be the new home to a health and human services center, it turned to Activate Detroit. We helped secure the property and managed the entire process: the land-use planning, permits, and scheduling, as well as the property rezoning, which required action by Detroit City Council and other agencies to get the construction process started. Activate Detroit also led community meetings to let the neighborhood’s residents share their thoughts and lived experiences and empowered them to participate in the new development.

Services Provided

  • Community Engagement

  • Economic Development and Land Use Planning 

Plowshares

Plowshares Theatre Co.

Date: 2018 - 2019

As Michigan’s only professional African American theatre company, Plowshares Theatre Company strives to preserve, present, and produce African American experiences that challenge minds and build community. Given Activate Detroit’s deep roots in the city, we were an ideal choice to help Plowshares build a relationship with Detroit’s African American community. Plowshares brought us in to help vet and potentially launch a new production. Our work included community engagement and focus groups based on readings of the play at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. After the readings, we facilitated discussions that led to refinement of the play before it was
presented.

Services Provided

  • Community Engagement

Orchard

Wolverine Human Services // Core Orchards

Date: 2017 - Present

Activate Detroit helped secure a deal to purchase land for Detroit’s first “You Pick” orchard and cider mill. We helped earn the community’s support, and negotiated ordinances from the city to allow the development of the orchard.

Services Provided

  • Government Relations and Access

  • Community Engagement

  • Economic Development and Land Use Planning